Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Not a good sign

In my last post I wondered whether the findings in the latest National Intelligence Estimate that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago actually mattered to the Bush Administration. The answer, it appears, is no. Salon's Tim Grieve points out that Bush was briefed on this finding back in August or September this year:

Yes, that was before Bush said that he took "the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously," and that the best way to prevent "World War III" would be to prevent the Iranians from obtaining the "knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

It was before Condoleeezza Rice said Iran is "pursuing nuclear technologies that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material."

It was before Dick Cheney said that the United States should "reach for any tool that's available" -- including the "possible use of military force" -- to "discourage the Iranians from enriching uranium and producing nuclear weapons."

There's more examples there if you can stomach the mendacity.

So, in short, despite being told otherwise by his intelligence agencies, the Bush Administration was saber-rattling harder than ever and convince the public that Iran was a serious threat. In other words, they were trying to lie their way into a war. Again.